Fledgeling is not what you expect, nor what you are familiar with. Fledgeling is not like some other game you’ve played before. It is not generic. (Just a note, I’ll be talking about what “Fledgeling is” in the definitive existential sense, despite the fact that it has certainly not been implemented yet (except to the extent that it is a mimicry of the real world and the mind, both of which seem to have been implemented quite handily (but not by us)). This is mostly for clarity and simplicity. If it bothers you, simply replace each occurrence of “Fledgeling is” with “we haven’t quite figured out what we’re doing yet, but by the time we’re finished it’s quite possible that Fledgeling is going to be”. My intention is to communicate, rather than offer prophecy or misleading present tense declarations.)
Fledgeling is not Minecraft, or COD, or MOO2, or Starflight, or Dungeon Siege, or Missile Command, or Spacechem, or Trine. It draws from these (and many others) as a source of inspiration. It is not really like these at all.
Fledgeling is not “voxel based” per-say though it does employ voxel-like objects at some levels. The regularity of voxel matrix is not well suited for either storing nor presenting fledgeling concepts. Many people see voxels as “the way forward” for games, and especially “sandbox games” (which is the closest current genres come to the core of the Fledgeling engine), but we beg to differ. If anything, voxels are block based, and blocks are reality based, and so is Fledgeling.
Fledgeling is not conventional in its temporal model. It’s not “real time” since in the game time can flow quickly, slowly, stop, (perhaps reverse) and even skip large sections of time depending on the circumstances. It is also not turn based, since “turns” (conventionally) are synchronous, of uniform length, and alternate between actors. One could play a real time game in Fledgeling, just as one could play a uniform-turn-length turn based game in Fledgeling, but both would be a restriction of the system. The Fledgeling engine can support either, but supersedes both.
Fledgeling is not a “Strategy” or “Tactics” game, though it does allow both strategic and tactical decisions. A strategy setting assumes play at a “big picture” level which is not part of a (significant) larger context. A tactics setting assumes play at an “on the ground” level which has no further hidden complexity. Fledgeling is designed to present both context and complexity on all levels. Of course, one may write a scenario which champions primarily strategic or tactical interactions, but Fledgeling is capable of more.
Fledgeling is not strictly “third person” or “first person” either, in that the view is fixed to “looking down on”, or “looking out the eyes of” a single character. One could build an FPS on it, though I suspect this would waste many of the finer qualities of the engine. The view could also be anchored to a single character, but this too would be a restriction. Direct control is possible, but largely the player’s attention and efforts are better employed making decisions about goals rather than individual actions. The AI is good enough to handle the details.
Fledgeling is not a shooter, although it can include shooting. Fledgeling is not a puzzle game, although it can include puzzles. It is not a “4x” either, though it will allow for all four of those elements. It’s not a “sim” game, although it could involve quite a bit of simulation. It’s not even really going to be a “game” except in the broadest sense. At its best, Fledgeling is nothing more than a sandbox.
Finally, Fledgeling is certainly not a game of skill. Not of reflex, nor quick thinking, nor interface memorization, nor mathematics, nor intuition. It is not a game played to win (the AI knows how to win, after all), but a game played to experience and decide.
Fledgeling is, at it’s core… ahh, but that’s a different article.